VOTERS GUIDE What you need to know about the Feb. 2 special election for District 24 City Council seat
BY JACOB KAYE
The first election in Queens in
2021 is fast approaching.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, voters in
Kew Gardens Hills, Pomonok,
Electchester, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest,
Jamaica Estates, Briarwood,
Parkway Village, Jamaica Hills and
Jamaica will head to the polls to vote
in the special election to fill the New
York City Council seat in District 24.
Eight candidates are currently
seeking the seat, which became vacant
after former Councilman Rory
Lancman took a job as Governor Andrew
Cuomo’s new special counsel
for ratepayer protection.
The nonpartisan election will
also be the first test of the city’s
new ranked-choice voting system,
which after being overwhelmingly
approved by voters in 2019, has come
under fire in the months leading up
to its implementation.
Despite legal challenges by several
Queens electeds, the new system,
which allows voters to rank their top
five choices instead of choosing just
one candidate, will be used in the
Feb. 2 special election.
The winner of District 24’s special
election will serve until the end of
the year, when Lancman’s term is set
to end. Voters in the district will also
cast ballots for the seat in during the
June 22 primary elections and during
the November general elections.
The winner of the November election
will represent the district come
Seven of the eight candidates on
the ballot for the special election
have not previously run for public
See the list of candidates running
in the City Council special election
in District 24 below:
Moumita Ahmed: A progressive
community activist, Ahmed is campaigning
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.10 COM | JAN. 29-FEB. 4, 2021
on, among other issues,
tenants rights, climate change and
shifting money from the NYPD to
various social services.
Michael Brown: A real estate
agent, Brown is campaigning on,
among other issues, the development
of economic zones, the COVID-19 recovery
and providing relief to New
York City yellow cab medallion owners
FEB. 2, 2021
James Gennaro: A former councilman
in District 24, Gennaro is
campaigning on, among other issues,
centrist government in New York
City, revamping governance of public
schools and addressing the city’s
infrastructure against storms.
Neeta Jain: A Democratic district
leader, Jain is campaigning on,
among other issues, providing affordable
healthcare to city residents,
providing financial relief to small
businesses during the pandemic and
pushing for the creation of more affordable
Dilip Nath: Nath, the president
of the New American Voters Association,
is campaigning on, among other
issues, increasing public schools
funding, providing COVID-19 economic
relief and expanding health
care for seniors.
Mujib Rahman: A community
activist, Rahman is campaigning on,
among other issues, public safety, increasing
funding for the NYPD and
expanding school choice.
Deepti Sharma: Sharma, a small
business advocate, is campaigning
on, among other issues, reinvesting
in the community, making the district
more accessible, making Queens
Soma Syed: Syed, president of the
Queens County Women’s Bar Association,
is campaigning on, among other
issues, ending increases on property
taxes, addressing discrepancies
in public education and providing assistance
to small businesses.
Early voting for the special election
will begin on Jan. 23 and run until
Jan. 31. Poll sites and their hours
during the early voting period can
be found at voting.nyc by entering
your address on the “Where to Vote”
The absentee ballot request period
is currently open and will be until
Jan. 26. Voters must mail their ballot
with a postmark date prior to Feb. 3 or
leave it in a drop box at any poll site
or Board of Elections office through
the end of Feb. 2. Voters can request
an absentee ballot at vote.nyc.
Polls will be open for in-person
voting on Tuesday, Feb. 2 from 6 a.m.
until 9 p.m.